NEW YORK — Wall Street rose again Monday to begin a holiday-shortened week and reached its best level in more than three months.
The S&P 500 gained 33.36 points, or 0.7%, to 4,547.38, coming off its third straight winning week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 203.76, or 0.6%, to 33,151.04, and the Nasdaq composite climbed 159.05, or 1.1%, to 14,284.53.
Microsoft was the strongest force pushing the market higher, and it rose 2.1% after saying it’s bringing on Sam Altman for a new venture following his sudden dismissal as CEO of OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT. Microsoft said it will also continue its partnership with OpenAI, as fervor around artificial-intelligence technology and the huge profits it’s expected to create continue to dominate Wall Street.
Stocks broadly drifted higher through the day before they took a turn upward in the afternoon when yields fell in the bond market following an auction of Treasurys. Easing Treasury yields have been the main reason for a strong rally for stocks in recent weeks.
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This upcoming week is relatively light on reports that could sway the hopes on Wall Street that have underpinned that drop in Treasury yields.
Wall Street is getting more convinced that inflation is cooling enough for the Federal Reserve to finally be done with its market-crunching hikes to interest rates. Not only that, traders are moving up their expectations for when the Fed could actually begin cutting interest rates.
Despite Fed officials saying they may keep rates high for a while to ensure high inflation is definitively beaten, traders are thinking the first cut to rates could happen by early summer or maybe even by March. Cuts to rates tend to act like steroids for financial markets and offer oxygen across the financial system.
The Thanksgiving holiday means the U.S. government will release its weekly update on jobless claims on Wednesday instead of the usual Thursday. Other than that, the release of the minutes from the Fed’s latest policy meeting on Tuesday and preliminary reports on U.S. business activity on Friday are among the highlights.
That could make Nvidia’s upcoming profit report on Tuesday the week’s highest-profile event.
Nvidia carries huge sway on the S&P 500 and other indexes because it’s swelled to become the fifth-most valuable U.S. stock. Much of that rise has been because of excitement around AI, and Nvidia’s report could offer clues on how much all the talk about AI is translating into actual sales.